Be Aware of Scams

We want to alert our residential and commercial customers to several scams taking place in our area.

Fake Invoices

Some scammers, posing as third-party energy suppliers, are sending fake utility bills via email to customers, asking them to click on an enclosed link. It is suspected that, by clicking the link, your computer could become infected with a virus or malware.

For your protection, we ask that you pay your utility bill by going to our website, mailing us the hard copy of the remittance portion of your invoice or visiting one of our Customer Courtesy Centers. Do not open any email asking for payment unless it was sent by us or your respective third-party energy supplier.

Reloadable Debit Cards

Scammers are also contacting customers and telling them that their electric service will be shut off for non-payment unless they purchase a reloadable debit card (Green Dot MoneyPak or Vanilla card).

Victims are instructed to call a phone number and provide the card’s account number and unique serial number. Once the scammer obtains the card’s identifying information, the value is stolen.

Commercial customers are also being told to use the same method of payment to have a new meter installed. The caller claims that the state has mandated these meter changes. This is not true.

Always Use Caution

Many utility companies, including Pepco, contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent our company or another entity, it is important that you verify the employee’s identification—especially if they are requesting immediate payment. When addressing past due accounts, we always offer multiple payment options.

Our employees always carry an official company identification card. If proper identification cannot be produced when asked, you should notify the police or the company with whom the individual claims to be associated. Similarly, if someone calls claiming to represent a company, ask them to verify their identity and affiliation.

If you have any doubt about the validity of a person claiming to represent Pepco, please call us immediately at 202-833-7500.

Preparing for Winter Storms

Use these helpful tips to be ready when severe weather strikes in winter.

  • Pepco_DSC0090aAssemble an emergency storm kit containing bottled water, non-perishable foods, blankets, flashlights and extra batteries, first-aid kit and prescription medications, special medical or infant supplies, hand tools and other essential items
  • If using a portable generator, always operate it outside and away from doors and windows to prevent deadly carbon monoxide fumes from entering the home
  • Purchase a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector for your home if you plan to use an alternative source of heat – carbon monoxide is not only colorless and odorless, it is deadly
  • Clear snow away from appliance vents located outside your home so your heater, clothes dryer and other appliances will continue to operate safely
  • If your home has a heat pump, clear it of snow to make sure air can circulate properly
  • Remember to take breaks while clearing snow and avoid over exerting yourself
  • When conditions are safe, check on elderly or home-bound neighbors
  • Ensure your contact information is up to date (Have your account number available, call 202-833-7500 and say “update phone number”)

For more safety tips, download and print our Storm Preparation Handbook. Please remember to report outages and downed wires by calling 1-877-737-2662, using the mobile app or by visiting our website.

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

Holiday PhotoFollow the guidelines below to keep your home, family and guests safe this holiday season.

  • Select decorations made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Inspect electrical decorations before using them and replace any that are damaged.
  • Keep trees (both live and synthetic) at least 3 feet from heating sources – especially fireplaces.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Never use more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Consider using LED lights, which use less energy than incandescent bulbs and emit less heat, making them safer to touch and to use on trees.
  • Keep all extension cords and light strings clear of snow and standing water.
  • If using a ladder to decorate, carry it parallel to the ground to prevent it coming into contact with power lines, and keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet from lines.
  • Turn off all decorations before going to bed or leaving your home.

August 11 is National 811 Day

cal811Are you planning a home improvement job such as planting a tree, installing a fence or building a deck? Before you start any digging project, big or small, you need to call 811.

Providing safety is our top priority. We want to remind our customers to call 811 a few days before they start any digging project. Failure to do so may result in injury, repair costs, fines and outages. An underground utility line is damaged every eight minutes because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to Common Ground Alliance data.

By calling 811, we are notified of your intent to dig and can send somebody out to mark the locations of your underground lines. Always call a few days before you start to allow time for the request to be processed.

For more information, visit our Call Before You Dig page.

5 Water Recreation Safety Tips

Before you go swimming, fishing or boating this Memorial Day Weekend, always remember that contact between water and electricity can be harmful or even fatal.

boating

Here are a few safety tips that you should keep in mind.

  • Be careful when pulling your sailboat on the beach or when docking. Always look up for overhead power lines.
  • Remove or lower antennas or flags from large cruise vessels and sailboat hulls before transporting your boat over land. Know the total height of your trailer and boat with and without the mast up.
  • Be aware of signs that indicate underwater gas or electric utility lines. Don’t anchor your boat near underwater cables or pipelines. At low tide, clearances to underwater cables and pipelines could be inadequate for your vessel.
  • When fishing, look behind you before you cast to make sure your hook will not get caught on a power line.
  • Make sure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools (even the cleaning equipment) is grounded.

For more safety tips, visit our Safety Center page.

Spring into Outdoor Chores Safely

OutdorChoreWarm weather is here and so are outdoor chores such as gutter cleaning and landscaping. In celebration of National Electrical Safety Month, here are a few safety tips before you get started:

  • Use a fiber glass or wooden ladder and maintain at least a 10-foot clearance when working near power lines
  • Carry long or tall items such as ladders, scaffolding or tree sawsparallel to the ground to avoid contact with overhead wires
  • Never touch a power line with any part of your body
  • Wear goggles, gloves and enclosed footwear when handling electric or battery-operated tools

Visit our Safety Center page for more tips.

10 Electrical Safety Tips for Children

May is National Electrical Safety Month, so we would like to remind you how important it is to follow safety precautions and educate children about the dangers of misusing electricity and electrical devices. Here are a few safety tips for you and your children to always keep in mind:

1. Place safety covers over unused electric outlets to make sure your child does not stick their finger (or any other object) into the outlet

2. Do not let your child touch wires lying on the ground, or inside the house.

3. Keep balloons, kites and other toys away from overhead lines

4. Make sure your kite is made of wood, plastic or paper – never metal, foil or wire

5. Keep electric appliances at least 10 feet away from swimming pools

6. Never touch anything electrical with wet hands

7. Never unplug an appliance by pulling the cord

8. Never play around substations, utility towers or pad-mounted transformers (green metal boxes) or where “Danger: High Voltage” signs are posted

9. Never use electric appliances during a bath or shower, when standing near a sink or when standing in water

10. Never pour water on an electrical fire. If the home does not have an appropriate extinguisher (class A,B,C), use flour or baking soda

Visit our Safety Center page for more safety tips.